Author Archives: Vashti B

Host Your Next Art Exhibition at Petrie Terrace Gallery!

Are you an artist looking for the perfect venue to showcase your artwork? Look no further than the Petrie Terrace Gallery, operated by the Royal Queensland Art Society (RQAS). Our gallery offers an affordable, professional, and inviting environment to hold your next art exhibition, open to both RQAS members and the public.

Why Choose Petrie Terrace Gallery?

  • Professional Setup: Our gallery boasts a professional hanging system and plinths to accommodate a wide range of media. With 47 linear metres of hanging space and professional downlights, your artwork will be showcased in a spacious and inviting space. To see the other upcoming Exhibitions click here.
  • Comfort and Accessibility: The air-conditioned gallery ensures a comfortable viewing experience for all visitors. Located at ground level, it provides easy street-level access and ample parking. Plus, it’s within walking distance to public transport, cafes, bars, and the vibrant Caxton Street.
  • Scenic and Inviting: Overlooking Hardgrave Park with views of the city from the upstairs workshop & Studio Space our venue offers a warm and inviting atmosphere that enhances the viewing experience for all visitors.

Additional Perks

  • Promotion: We will promote your exhibition through RQAS social media platforms and newsletters, ensuring your work reaches our audience.
  • Sales Processing: The gallery offers EFTPOS facilities at no additional cost, with all sales processed via RQAS to make transactions seamless.
  • Community Focus: As a community space, we charge a modest 11% commission on sales, including GST. For full details of fees and charges click here
  • Member Discounts: After 12 months of membership, All RQAS Brisbane branch members enjoy a discount on gallery hire.

Don’t miss this opportunity to exhibit your art in a prime location with professional amenities and community support. Contact us today to check availability and book your exhibition space at the Petrie Terrace Gallery.

Contact Us

For more information or to make a booking, please reach out to us directly via phone or email. Let’s make your next exhibition a resounding success!

The Finalists of the Salon des Refuses 2020

Petrie Terrace Gallery is delighted to present the finalists in this years Salon de Refusés which run in conjunction with the Brisbane Portrait Prize.

This exhibition will run from Friday 9th of October to Sunday 1st of November at the Petrie Terrace Gallery, and online below.

Petrie Terrace Gallery Awards

Click here for more information on the winning artworks.

Finalist Artworks

If you wish to in the conversation on your socials, on Instagram we are @petrie_terrace_gallery and on Facebook @rqasBRIS and use the following hashtags #BPPsalon2020  #rqasbris #petrieterracegallery to comment or post.

Royal Queensland Art Society, Brisbane Branch is proudly supported by

Brisbane City Council

Abstraction 2020

Welcome to Abstraction 2020: This year we are running this exhibition online and in the Petrie Terrace Gallery from Friday June the 12th when the Gallery will re-open.

Abstraction was Judged by Andrew Baker with the Award presentation to be held at 2pm, on Saturday 27th June.

If you would like to come along bookings are essential, please RSVP with any attendees by 20th June by email or phone to the Gallery directly.


First Prize – Untitled I (Deliberate Picture Series) by Natalie Lavelle

Above all other works in the exhibition, this painting connects directly with the origins of Western abstraction from the 1910s and -20s. In so doing, it exhibits lessons learned from early adherents such as Kazimir Malevich and Theo van Doesburg. Echoing Japanese and Chinese calligraphy, Natalie’s single sweeping brush stroke is at once deliberate and controlled — yet has a looseness that provides both movement and tension to the picture. The vertical string-line bisecting the picture plane adds a note of formality and provides a reference against which the viewer might contemplate placement of the large shadowy brush stoke upon the painting’s brilliant white rectangular ground.

Second Prize – Thereabouts by Helen Creed

This painting is a rare bird — that is, one which works as well hung on a diagonal as it does on the square. Reminiscent of knitting or Indigenous weaving patterns, the tricolour stripes, in progressively darker tones from front to back, give the painting an impression of depth and airiness. The warm tones of Helen’s painting are inviting while the imperfect straight lines provide an elasticity filled with tension.

Third Prize – Night Market by Kim Lowry

Straddling pure abstraction and physical reality, this tonal study of light in relation to objects could only exist in modern times. Devoid of gesture, the flatly painted areas of merged and fragmented shapes play with notions of focus and depth of field in a photographic sense. The modest size of Kim’s painting is appropriate for its humble subject matter and probably wouldn’t have worked as well on a larger scale.

Peoples Choice – LCS.1 by Petalia Humphreys





To find out more about the Artists & RQAS Members in this online exhibition, please click their links below:


Jackalyn Archibald

Esther Austin

Lara Bakes-Denman


Louise Brakenridge

Glen Buckley

Gaye Cooke

Helen Creed

Kathleen Dempsey

Anna Gonzalez

Claire Grant

Allan Green

Christine Groh

Ross Halfacree

John Hartley-Dunne

Joanne Heath

Meredith Howse

Lauren Hughes

Petalia Humphreys

Jan Hutchison

Owen Hutchison

Minal Karim

Marijke Lambregtse

Jo Langley

Natalie Lavell

Kim Lowry

Kip McCauley-Wassell

Keili Major

Alan Morrison

Carolyn O’Neill

Jennifer Parker

Laura Phillips

Wendy Pound

Elizabeth Ruiz

Therese Rule

Vivien Searle

Glenmary Swan

Rawdon Slater

Tracy Spalding

Beverley Tainton

Bee Twomey

Lee Wilkes

Current and Upcoming Exhibitions:





What is Abstract Art?

All art forms and processes involve abstraction of some kind, even when the aim is representation of recognisable forms. But in modern parlance, abstract art is that which uses the visual language of shape, form, colour and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual reference to the world.

However, the varying forms and degrees of abstraction in art can leave a viewer in some confusion, especially as many artists today will argue that all art is abstract (see for example the comments of Australian Artist Irene Amos). After all, paintings and drawings consist simply of marks put together on a flat surface, with or without representational effect, and even translating from a 3D subject onto a 2D ground must involve considerable abstraction from observed reality.


To illustrate the points above see this illustration where there is drawn box, clearly representational. When the drawing of box is analyzed by exploding the drawing into the shapes that make it up you see clearly that all it is a series of abstract shapes yet when put together become a recognisable object

The modern identification of ‘abstract’ with non-representational art may therefore be somewhat misleading, and perhaps a misrepresentation of the translative art process.

Nevertheless, in so-called pure abstraction an artist uses gestural marks or geometric shapes which have no obvious source in the external visual world but can relate instead to (for example) emotion or music (such as Kandinsky/Mondrian or Bridget Riley).


Example of Briget Rileys Art.

Art labelled abstract expressionism, as practised by artists like Helen Frankenthaler or Jackson Pollack is, by definition, expressive of something though artists may argue about exactly what.


Helen Frankenthaler in her studio 1956. By Source, Fair use,



The abstraction employed in other schools of art like Fauvism, Dadaism or Cubism retains more of a link, however attenuated or distorted, to the visual world (such as Henri Matisse or George Braque).


Bottle and Fishes c.1910-2 Georges Braque 1882-1963

The degree and nature of this link varies from artist to artist as can be seen in contemporary works by Wendy Sharpe or Georgia O’Keefe which abstract in a painterly way from clearly recognisable forms.

‘Abstract’ is thus a term broadly used, making the distinction between various forms of abstract art not always immediately obvious. This probably does not matter except to art historians. The average viewer will take each work on its own terms and make their own judgments.

Join us as we explore all styles of abstract art in the Abstraction Exhibition this June 2020

Other interesting Links:


  • BBC arts documentary in which painter and critic Matthew Collings charts the rise of abstract art over the last 100 years. Including reference to the fascinating spiritual painter Hilma Af Klint with her work from 1907.
  • Tate Blog Post “Some artists of this ‘pure’ abstraction have preferred terms such as concrete art or non-objective art, but in practice, the word abstract is used across the board and the distinction between the two is not always obvious.”
  • John Wolseley’s work highlights the blending of spontaneous process with a rich artistic journey, the marks of which are both left on the work and incorporated into his mixed media art.


Online Exhibition


RQAS is proud to present our first online exhibition, created to allow our Artists a chance to exhibit their artworks created in isolation.




To find out more about the RQAS Members in this online exhibition, please click the link to their Artists profiles below:

Paul Anthony

Susan Baggio


Christine Boulsover

Helen Bronte Boyd


Casey Charles

Glenise Clelland

Karen Collins

Gaye Cook

Boyd Craig

Glenis Doby



Anna Gonzalez

Ross Halfacree

Ineke Hartman

Joanne Heath

Peter Godfrey Hubbard

Alan Innes

Karen Knight

Marijke Lambregtse

Trisha Lambi

Tracey Lloyd

Tammy Lorcan

Kathrine Moeller

Carolyn Morgan

Heather Philp

Luella Price


Elisabeth Ruiz

Lesley Shelley

Cecily Slade

Katia Strounina

Beverley Tainton

Tony Walker

Elaine Weller


Contact Us

To vote for your Peoples Choice or purchase and artwork, fill out the form below:

Current & Upcoming Exhibitions

Remembering Ruby Eaves (1943-2019)

There are very few people who make a noticeable mark on the art world, but Ruby Eaves was one of the very dedicated and talented few, who did just that.
Ruby participated in many solo and group exhibitions and was often a feature artist, making her in high demand as a judge and tutor. She mostly painted in watercolours and oils but was proficient in all mediums. Her first award was at the Orange Art Festival in 1982, winning first prize with a watercolour, arguably her favourite medium.
Ruby lived in western NSW before moving to Orange and then relocated to Brisbane in 1986. She then became a member of the Watercolour Society of QLD as well as the Royal Queensland Art Society. It was during this time that she became so proficient and recognised for her talent not only here in Queensland but also internationally. Her works hang in many public and private collections in Australia and overseas. Many of her paintings have been “acquisitions” by Corporate Businesses as well as Bathurst City Council, Lithgow City Council, Portland Rotary Club and Moreton Shire Council.
Ruby’s art often reflected the beauty of light in the Australian landscape. Living on acreage was a source of constant inspiration for her favourite subject matter, enabling her to capture the mood, atmosphere and that “fleeting magical moment”. Ruby was particularly fond of country landscapes, but also loved painting seascapes and international scenes with equal expertise. She had that magical ability to capture the very spirit of the scene to captivate the viewer.
In limited space I have hardly done Ruby’s achievements justice, but I know that those who knew her are richer for the experience as am I. She conducted herself with such dignity, generosity and grace and battled ovarian cancer with an inner strength until the end. What an amazing role model for us all.
We will never forget you Ruby. Rest in peace my friend.
Written by Anne Roberts

Drawing: the fortifying element in any artist’s work

The importance of drawing lies in the fact that it embodies a genuine and independent way of thinking. It is the most fundamental and direct of the visual arts in so far as it underlies mastery in almost every discipline in the visual art world.
Training in the formal aspects of drawing is a fortifying element in any artist’s work however he or she may ultimately choose to compose. Learning to see size, scale, shape, and spatial relationships, along with surface interplays of textures within a wash of lights and darks, is necessary for representing any formal idea, whether realistic, imaginary or symbolic. In the first place you must learn to see and draw accurately before you can move on to more expressive ideas.
The best drawing practitioners understand that they only really see something when they draw it.

“Self Portrait” by Kay Kane.

Dr. Kay Kane
Artist, Teacher of Drawing and Painting


Improve your own drawing skills in one of our workshops or classes here or take part in our Life Drawing Extravaganza on 10th Nov 2019 

Volunteer Positions Available

Volunteer Gallery Assistant Positions Available – INTAKE EVERY JAN, APRIL, JULY & OCTOBER .


The Royal Queensland Art Society, Brisbane Branch are looking for passionate, proactive people to join our team at Petrie Terrace Gallery.

About us:

The Petrie Terrace Gallery is owned and operated by the Brisbane Branch of the Royal Queensland Art Society (RQAS). The RQAS is a not for profit organisation and was born in 1884, formed by a group of like-minded artists and was formally established in 1887.

The objectives of the RQAS are to encourage and promote the cultivation and appreciation of the fine arts, and provide an artist hub for artists of all genres and encourage the visual arts, provide support to artists, networking opportunities and present exhibitions.


The following volunteer positions are available:


  • Library and Cataloguing Assistants.

Short Term 3 – 6 months, Volunteer Position.


The historic and important collection of rare books and exhibition ephemera of the RQAS Library is being digitalised and re-catalogued. We are seeking art history students, art history enthusiasts and research students to assist us in this task. This project will be a rewarding and valuable experience for anyone wanting to work in these fields. Computer and archiving skills would be an advantage though all training will be provided.



  • Gallery Assistants (Administration and Front of House Gallery Duty)

Casual – Ongoing position, Volunteer Position.


Petrie Terrace Gallery are seeking casual assistants who wish to gain experience in the front of house operations of an art gallery. The role will include administration duties, sales and general enquiries, art handling, and occasional assistance in curating and promotion.  An interest in the arts and previous experience in retail and / or administration would be an advantage though all training will be provided.


To apply please complete the following form & we will get in touch with you shortly.

For more information please contact our Gallery Coordinator on  (07) 3367 1977 or email her at


Winners from Elegant Chaos: A Celebration of Still Life

Judged by Guest Artist Frances McKennariery, Her comments listed below

First Place

Pair with Pear by Beverley Tainton

The energy of chaos is beautifully demonstrated and held in shallow space through expert use of a high key palette and harmonising colours. Rhythmic waves of line and shape enhance the sense of movement and subdue this energy into an invitation to join in the ‘joie de vivre’.

Second Place

Good Looking Shells by David Laidley

Out of the darkness of chaos which so many artists visit in their creative process the energy has here emerged in an illuminated spiral – which happens to be an elegant pair of shells. The dramatic contrasts of light and dark support the strong movement of the spirals then the eye is brought to the reflections which slow the mind and underpin the work with a final sense of gravity.


Third Place

Favour Chair by Peter Hubbard

This subtle and thoughtful work unifies the movement in space and moments in time. A limited palette imbues the work with a sense of restraint and quiet contemplation as does the amusing use of the philosopher/artist image as the key still life figure.


Highly Commended


Appropriation and Annexation by Robin Finlay

The elegant choice of subject matter with Bird of Paradise blooms and finest Chinese vase is enhanced by gold ground and composed into a compelling image with a clear message. This image of refinement and culture disconcertingly includes a rough outback Australia image hand painted on the vase. The inner energy from the tensions in the imagery engages the viewer and hints at another way of seeing our world. Whatever the interpretations the work remains elegant and intriguing.


Still Life Connecticut by Dr Kay Kane

This subtle and beautifully observed drawing of a busy kitchen bench draws the eye into an experience of each object through sensitive line and shape. The silvery tonal range and use of silhouette resolves the chaos into a unified and graceful image.


Kathy Sullivan Pie ‘n’ Chips

The choice of subject, “Pie ‘n’ Chips” is witty and relevant to most of us which makes a great choice for still life. The sense of a meal interrupted adds dimension to the experience of the forms. Well realised in concept, placement, colours and textures.



Joanne Heath, Red Blue Reflection

Don Wotton,  The Mink that Stole the Show

People’s choice


Entangle by Michael Augustine

Elegant Chaos: A Celebration of Still life exhibition closed on Sunday 25th June 2019